9 August 2019

A cyber criminal's way of getting us to hand over crucial information

By Aston Lark

Social media quizzes are just a harmless bit of fun, right?  Wrong!  They are a cyber criminal’s way of getting us to freely hand over crucial personal information which many of us use as online passwords, such as:

  • Name of your first pet
  • Your mother’s maiden name
  • Your middle name
  • Star sign
  • Birth month
  • Day of the week you were born

And it’s no coincidence that these are also remarkably similar to the sort of security questions we’re asked when resetting our passwords and email accounts.

Due to the digital age we live in, our ever-increasing dependence on technology and the Internet of Things we need passwords to access virtually everything.    But it’s ok, we know better than to write them all down because any Tom, Dick or Harry could find that bit of paper left on our desks and log in pretending to be us, we’re no fools!  So instead, we simply use the same password for everything.  However, as we’ve previously been tricked into divulging our password via a social engineering attack, that cyber-criminal now has access to our email account, business systems, Amazon account, Netflix, online banking, to name but a few!

Educating and training employees can certainly go a long way to reducing the likelihood and cost of a cyber incident.  But no matter how robust your IT risk management system is, you can’t prevent human error and unwittingly becoming the next victim of a scam.  You can only reduce the risk of it happening and minimise any loss occurring from it.

So next time you are asked to share personal details online, think before you click.

For further information about cyber risk protection, contact Catherine Aleppo on 01252 359086 or email [email protected]

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